Category Archives: finances

making change

Meet CJ.  Yes, CJ stands for change jar and yes, I named it.

I was given this handy change-saver for Christmas last year and I have to say its one of the best investments I’ve ever (not actually) made! (gift)  It provides such an easy and fun way to save all that spare change floating around.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take to fill or how much money that would be, but I am excited to say that it now holds over $150!  I am looking forward to cashing it in for something special soon and highly recommend CJ as a way to organize and save.

Here are a few quick tips for ways to collect more change:

Designate a place for your change. It doesn’t have to be a fancy counting jar like CJ.  Any old jar or bowl or bucket will do.

Create a goal and/or reward.  If you know that you are saving your pennies for a night out, a massage or a $100 shopping trip, you are simply more likely to save the coins.

Use Cash.  Obviously, the more you use cash instead of cards, the more change there will be.  It is also a great way to budget and limit overspending.

Round it Up.  Loose change manages to find its way everywhere, from pockets and purses to washing machines, car consoles and counter tops.  If you see it, touch it or hear it, gather it up and put it in its designated place.  The occasional floor cleaning cushion turning change hunt can be a fun activity as well.

Happy change saving!

p.s. If you are interested in this specific product, find it here on Amazon.  There are lots of other counting change jar options out there as well.

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colorful cash envelopes

Last year, I finally decided to embrace a cash envelope system to help control my budget.  (something that has gained much popularity thanks to Dave Ramsay’s Total Money Makeover).  While browsing pinterest one day, I came across some fun handmade cash envelopes and was inspired.  (I can no longer find said pin)  So, before the start of the year, I made my own.  (My mom helped a lot…she is a much more skilled at sewing than I am)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a lot of fun making these and enjoy using them.

First, I chose the fabrics I wanted for the envelopes and for the purse/clutch/large envelope to hold them all.  All of these fabrics came out of my moms sewing closet and are fun because I had clothing made out of many of these as a kid.

After figuring the right size for the small envelopes, I got to marking and cutting.

Then, to add a little stiffness to them, we used some Pellon Wonder Under to line the fabric.

Finally, the fabric was sewn into envelope form (simply folded over and sewn on both short sides).

A small velcro piece was added to the inside to help protect the precious cash!

The large envelope/clutch was made last to ensure it was cut to the proper size to fit all the envelopes.  It was lined with with another fabric and a snap enclosure was attached.

I have not been using any sort of labeling system for my envelopes, but have seen that many do so with velcro fabric labels or cardstock insert style labels.  I simply assigned different fabrics to different spending categories and have come to know which is which. 🙂
My main categories are groceries, dining, transportation, entertainment, hobbies, personal care, home & office, gifts and clothing.

Once the budgeted cash is gone for the month, that’s it…it’s gone!  Currently, I roll over any left over cash to start off the next months normal budget.  Eventually, I plan to put the leftovers into savings each month.  I do, however, put all my left over coin change into my change jar, CJ.

Check out some more tips from Dave Ramsay on using the envelope system.

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